A.J. Brown led the Titans with a career-high 206 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in Tennessee’s 24-16 win over San Francisco on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, continuing his second half emergence for the team that drafted him as a running back out of Ole Miss in 2016. The 49ers came into this game having allowed just one rushing touchdown through four games, with opponent teams averaging 61 yards per contest against them.,
A.J. Brown’s second half energizes Tennessee Titans in win over 49ers.
11:00 p.m. ET
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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – In the Titans’ 20-17 triumph against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night, wide receiver A.J. Brown breathed new life into an otherwise lifeless offense.
In his first game back off injured reserve, Brown recorded 11 catches for 145 yards and a score. As he went through the recovery process, he was hungry to go back on the field.
“I’m thankful simply to be able to play football again,” Brown remarked. “Playing football was something I missed. It was difficult for me since this is something I like doing. I really believe that this is my life’s mission.”
Brown came through for quarterback Ryan Tannehill on third downs in particular. The Titans’ third-year receiver recorded eight third-down catches. According to ESPN Stats & Information analysis, that’s the most by any player in a game in the last 30 seasons.
Tannehill remarked, “I enjoy throwing the ball to A.J. [Brown].” “He has a natural knack for opening himself up. He’s got his stature and strength. There are certain individuals that are quite simple to throw to. He’s one of those people.”
Brown said, “That’s the money down on third down. It’s up to you to convert it and keep the drives running.”
Brown had the greatest proportion of any player on a club that threw for at least 200 yards this season, accounting for 69.4 percent of the Titans’ receiving yards. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Brown has responsible for three of the top five highest percentages since last season.
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Brown’s two third-down catches on the first drive of the third quarter resulted to a field goal for Tennessee, which had been scoreless since the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Titans won the game by outscoring the 49ers 20-7 in the second half.
Titans defender Kevin Byard remarked, “A.J. was bringing the juice to us on the sideline.” “He was out there putting in the hours with those lads. You can clearly see how important he is to our squad and offense. He’s a man with a lot of energy.”
If the Indianapolis Colts lose to the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, the Titans, who had lost three of their previous four games and had two starting offensive linemen declared out this week, may win their second straight AFC South division championship.
“The Titans’ funeral was supposed to be yesterday or today,” stated coach Mike Vrabel. “We haven’t died yet.”
Tannehill struggled in the first half, with the Titans gaining just 55 total yards on offense. However, he bounced back in the second half, completing 22 of 29 passes for 209 yards and a score. It was the first time in five games that he passed for more over 200 yards.
In the third quarter, Tannehill connected with Brown on an 18-yard touchdown pass. Tannehill’s first throwing score since Week 12 against the Patriots ended a string of 102 consecutive pass attempts without a touchdown. With Brown back in the lineup, Tannehill looked to have a new level of confidence. He threw a handful of tight-window passes that allowed his receiver to create plays farther down the field.
Brown had his finest game of the season, outperforming his 10-reception, 155-yard effort against the Colts in Week 7. Brown currently leads the Titans in catches (56), receiving yards (760), and touchdown receptions (four) (four).
In the third quarter, with the Titans behind by a score, Titans safety Amani Hooker stepped in front of a Jimmy Garoppolo ball intended for Deebo Samuel. The interception was recovered to the 49ers’ 18-yard line by Hooker. Four plays later, the Titans punched it in for the game-tying touchdown.
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